There are days when we just feel so exhausted and drowsy even though you have gotten decent amount of sleep the night before. We would sometimes have that moment when we seem to forget small details—where you’ve placed something, what your boss said, or if you have already fed your pet. If these happen to you a lot, well, you could be experiencing a vitamin B deficiency.
There are eight B vitamins – vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin B12 (cobalamin) – and they perform critical roles in our body. Collectively called as B-complex, these vitamins are generally responsible for helping regulate blood and produce energy in the body. 2
The body cannot store most of these vitamins for a long time, but we can still replenish them through food. In this list, you will see what kind of food you need in your diet to last the whole day. 3
- Whole Grains
- Dairy Products
- Green Vegetables
- Seeds and Nuts
Whole grains are sources of several B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, which are essential in metabolism for they help the body break down protein, fat and carbohydrates into energy. So, make sure to add bread, cereals, rice and some noodles in your daily meals. 4
Eggs are one of the top sources of vitamin B7 or biotin. But eggs, particularly egg yolks, are also rich in vitamins B2, B3, B5, and B12. These B vitamins play a role in maintaining a healthy nervous system, storing energy, and forming of red blood cells. Egg yolks are, in fact, more nutritious than the whites, so to keep the nutrition from the egg, do not toss the egg yolk away!5
Most dairy products provide the body with vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B12. 6 Older adults are commonly affected with vitamin B12 deficiency, and milk is an excellent source of vitamin B12. In fact, a 250ml cup of milk supplies an estimated half of this vitamin’s recommended intake. The main function of vitamin B12 or cobalamin is to keep the nerves healthy.7 Meaning, milk and other dairy products help in preventing common aging disease.
Meat is packed with B vitamins. It is a great source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. Under this type, the food with the highest B vitamins are beef, liver and lamb meat. Still, several kinds of meat are very helpful in breaking food nutrients into energy. 8
Here is one more reason why you should love seafood. Nutritious seafood such as salmon and tuna are high in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Many types of shellfish, including oysters, clams and mussels, is a great source of vitamin B12, specifically. This group of food helps keep the body’s blood circulation, nerve system and metabolism running smoothly. 9
Apart from the elderly, the people who are at risk for vitamin B deficiency are the vegetarians. But that does not mean they can only depend on meat or seafood for it. Our favorite green vegetables are actually known to provide the body an excellent amount of folate. Among the leafy vegetables rich in vitamin B9 are the turnip, broccoli, lettuce and spinach. Aside from folate, they also contain vitamin B2 and B5. So, don’t forget your veggies! 0
This is another group of food vegans can take B vitamins from. Beans and legumes have lots of health benefits; among them is their high folate content. Vegans can choose from beans, Pinto beans, green peas, or chickpeas to incorporate in their diet to ensure their body can absorb B vitamins. Vitamin B12, however, can only be gotten from animal meat so for this, it would be best to take B-complex supplements instead. 1
Fruits are a significant part of a healthy diet due to them being rich in nutritional content. Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5, which are all critical in energy production. If you are feeling worn out, you may also get the same nutrients from real fruit juices. 2
Finally, eating certain nuts and seeds can help lower the cholesterol levels and maintain a sufficient amount of red blood cells since they are notably high in vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. Sunflower seeds, specifically, are among the highest sources of vitamin B5. 12
Vitamin B deficiency can cause physical and mental problems. 
If you are eating the right amount of food rich in B vitamins, this should not be a problem. The list provided is especially helpful to senior citizens and the vegetarians, who are more likely to be affected by this deficiency.
You can discuss your daily B vitamin requirement with your doctor.
With the right amount of vitamin B-complex, we will experience less fatigue, we will become more alert, and we will be able to remember the most important details and moments in our life. As early as now, it is best for us to B healthy!
 Medical News Today. (2019). What are the symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency?.
2 Healthline. (2018). 15 Healthy Foods High in B Vitamins.
3 HealthXchange. Vitamin B: Best Food Sources and Signs of Deficiency.
4 USDA Choose My Plate. (2015). Why is it important to eat grains, especially whole grains?.
5 PaleoLeap. An Egg Yolk A Day Keeps The Doctor Away.
6 Milk Facts. Vitamins & Minerals in Milk.
7 Dairy Nutrition. Milk: An Excellent Source of Vitamin B12.
8 Meat Science. Nutrients in Meat.
9 SFGate. (2018). Seafood with B12.
0 Live Strong. Vitamin B Vegetable List.
1 Live Strong. Fruits Containing Vitamin B.
12 Cleaveland Clinic. (2016). Why Beans, Packed With Vitamin B, Can Boost Your Brain Power.